Leading off today:
In the words -- singular, actually -- of Billy Fuccillo, Friday was huuuuuuuuge for New York high school football, no where more so than in Class AA.
With so much to recap from the state's large-school class, we're splitting our usual recap in two and will return later Saturday with highlights from classes A through D.
Road warriors: Joel Nicholas ran for three touchdowns to pace Canisius to a 49-35 win in Ohio over Massillon Washington.
Nicholas, who carried nine times for 80 yards, ran for scores of 12, 2 and 40 yards in the first half as Canisius wiped out a 7-0 deficit. Massillon pulled into a 21-21 tie at the half, but Jayce Johnson threw 39 yards to R.J. Brandon for one score and tallied himself on a 1-yard carry in the third quarter as the Crusaders, ranked sixth by the New York State Sportswriters Association, moved ahead for good.
Johnson threw 41 yards to Paul Woods (five catches, 86 yards) for another score in the third quarter and finished 12-for-19 for 220 yards.
Massillon (5-2) entered the game rated 10th in Division II by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Just for kicks: Monroe-Woodbury followed a first-quarter touchdown drive with two successful onside kicks and got three field goals from Mike Boyle en route to a 28-17 victory over Newburgh Free Academy.
Newburgh is ranked 11th and W-M 28th by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Boyle made field goals of 33, 26 and 27 yards.
M-W took the early lead when Steven Campione found Kenny Hernandez on a middle screen that covered 51 yards. A Boyle onside kick set up a five-play drive capped by Campione's 2-yard carry, and another onside kick led to a seven-play possession culminating in Boyle's first field goal.
C-NS still perfect: Fourteenth-ranked Baldwinsville held a 31-26 lead late in the first half but succumbed to a punishing second-half performance by No. 8 Cicero-North Syracuse, which registered a 67-31 victory.
"We knew they were going to test us," C-NS quarterback Conner Hayes told Syracuse.com after finishing with two long TD runs and thee scoring passes. "B'ville's always a great team. We expected them to come out and play hard like this. They got a couple on us, but we just kept on fighting."
Hayes ran 57 yards for his second TD of the game with just 36 seconds left in the second quarter, then the Northstars recovered a squib kick at the Baldwinsville 45. Two plays later, Hayes connected with Lukas Merluzzi for a 30-yard TD pass and a 39-31 lead with :02 to go in the half.
Pride scored this third TD on a 15-yard run in the third quarter, then Jaiquawn McGriff picked off a B'ville pass to set the stage for Hayes' 11-yard scoring throw to Shy'rel Broadwater, making it 52-31.